May 20, 2019
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Saco man charged with scheme to run guns from Ohio to New York

PORTLAND, Maine — A Saco man accused of participating in an illegal gun-running scheme made his first court appearance Friday in U.S. District Court.

Charles “Poe” Shells, 47, was indicted last year along with three other men in federal court in New York City on one count each of firearms trafficking conspiracy, firearms trafficking and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A warrant was issued for Shells’ arrest on July 20. He was taken into custody on Thursday. The circumstances surrounding his arrest were not included in documents filed in U.S. District Court in Portland.

He is being held without bail pending a hearing scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21, to determine if he will be detained and transferred to New York City or granted bail.

Shells made several trips from Bronx, New York, to Canton, Ohio, between Feb. 28 and June 12, where he, Keith “Preme” Vann and Steven Steele bought guns from Keith Shells, then sold them in New York City, the complaint alleged. Vann, Steele and Keith Shells were indicted in July by a federal grand jury in New York City along with Charles Shells, the indictment said.

Information about whether Charles Shells and Keith Shells are related was not available Monday.

Vann, Steele and Keith Shells, whose ages and hometowns were not available Monday, have pleaded not guilty and are free on $25,000 unsecured bail. They and Charles Shells are scheduled to be tried in March in federal court in New York City.

When and under what circumstances Charles Shells moved to Saco were not included in court documents.

If convicted, the men face up to five years in federal prison on the conspiracy charge and up to 10 years in federal prison on the trafficking and possession charges. The men also could be fined up to $250,000 on each count if convicted.


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